The perfect start to Downtown Dining Week, at Metro Bar & Cafe! What’s Downtown Dining, you ask? It’s a week of opportunities to sample Milwaukee’s best bistros, steakhouses, and ethnic eateries. With 45 restaurants participating, you have a lot of choices. The downtown dining menus include 3 courses, $12.50 for lunch or $25 for dinner. Most restaurants include their very favorite or most popular dishes for you to select from. It’s a great way to branch out into the foodie scene in Milwaukee and a good reason to try something other than your old favorite place!
We decided on Metro, which is a hotel with an attached bar and cafe. As an Art Deco boutique hotel, Metro’s atmosphere is chic and fun. Bright pops of color and cheerful foliage line their outdoor seating area. It makes the street a lot more aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion! And I should note that everything we ordered today can be found on Metro’s regular menu!
For my first course, I chose the tomato basil soup. Creamy and delicious, with the slightest hint of basil, it would hit the spot if you’re looking for a classic tomato soup! My mom ordered the house chili con carne, which was tasty as well. A great choice if you’re looking for the chili you always remember, but with a cayenne pepper kick! And the soups came with the most adorable little breadsticks, knotted on top!
For the entrees, we ordered the Guinness barbecue pulled ham, which had cheddar cheese, a tangy jicama slaw, sliced pears, and chives, on a scrumptious pretzel bun. We liked it because it was pulled ham rather than your usual pulled pork, so you got that smoky flavor. I love anything that you throw pears onto, so that was my favorite part! Added a little crunch.
We also ordered the crispy eggplant parmigiana as one of our entrees to share. It was parmigiana and breadcrumb encrusted eggplant, topped with Italian salsa fresca, on tomato foccacia. It’s kind of funny because I accidentally received someone’s chicken salad first, and it took me about 5 minutes of photographing it to realize, “hey, that isn’t eggplant.” It’s not my first rodeo with eggplant parmigiana, so I should have realized that right away! Regardless, when I did receive my eggplant parmigiana, it was hot off the press! And honestly so delicious. The eggplant was soft and warm and the salsa fresca was the perfect sauce to top it off. Also, I’m pretty picky with waffle fries, and these were hot hot hot and crispy! But not too crispy. They were the epitome of the perfect waffle fry.
For dessert, we chose one of each. We had an almond flavored sponge cake with mascarpone frosting and sabayon sauce, with a couple berries tossed on top. The cake itself was light and fluffy and the frosting was rich and flavorful. It had what appeared to be a homemade whipped cream on the side, which was yummy as well. I also am a huge fan of thinly sliced almonds, so I was very happy to find those on top. The other dessert was fresh berries and Grand Marnier. Fruit is the perfect dessert, in my opinion! And with the Grand Marnier sauce, it gave it an extra sweetness. Simple, elegant, and delectable.
If you’re looking for a chic little stop for the next lunch date with your bff, this is the perfect place! Adorable ambiance and sophisticated plates of delicious food.
Metro Bar & Cafe
(411 E Mason St, Milwaukee // 414.272.1937)